A Vacation to Remember
“Sweetie, go grab me my teeth will ya?” Granny yelled. I visited Jean, my great grandmother, every single day when I was staying with my grandmother in Illinois for two weeks. My grandmother urged me to go spend time with her, but to be honest, my idea of a good time in Illinois wasn’t to be hanging out in a nursing home. Each time I walked through doors my nose was filled with the always pleasing aroma of fresh urine. But the memories from those two weeks touched my heart more than I thought possible.
I would go there around eleven o’clock in the morning and listen to the stories of the past and present from my delusional granny. She’d tell me how the nurses had taken a group of patients to the dollar store yesterday, which was true, but then she’d throw a curve ball.
She had a thing for JFK, and I am convinced she secretly wanted to be his wife. I asked her where she got the new sunglasses sitting on the top of her head and she’d say, “oh these old things? These are Jackie Kennedy’s…there was a sale at the Dollar Tree with all of her vintage items.” Never would I attempt to prove her wrong. I liked seeing the proud smile on her face from wearing the once famous attire. Whenever she would tell me these stories she would refer to me as “honey” or “sweetie” because she could never remember my name. It made me sad how she wasn’t catching onto my name, even though I had visited her at least seven consecutive days and reminded her of my name each day. But then I thought; she is delusional, she can’t help it. She won’t remember your name…get over it. So after about a week, I just forgot about it.
I continued to visit her each day and even started to enjoy it. She would give me some stale, 20-year-old candy she had stashed in her drawer, and I would eat it, pretending to enjoy it. On the final day in Illinois, I went to visit granny one last time. I listened to some more stories about how she was dating a man from the nursing home, but had seen him at dinner with another girl…oddly enough we had just watched a soap opera episode with that exact scenario. Coincidence? I think not.
It was time to leave and I starting to say goodbye to granny as she gave me a great big hug. She wasn’t an affectionate person, so this hug was rather surprising. This signified the change I had caused in her over the past two weeks. Despite being on vacation, I was willing to dedicate my time to help another person in need. The feeling of warmth that came from helping my granny and making an impact in her life was worth it. Right as I started to leave her room I heard her say, “goodbye my sweet, sweet Hannah. I love you.” That moment will live on with me forever, as will the memory of my sweet, sweet granny.